Sunday, May 26, 2024

Star Wars 1999 Phantom Starring Hated Jar Jar Binks Number 2 at Box Office, Beats Fading “Challengers”


When “Star Wars: Attack of the Phantom Menace” was released in 1999, there was a lot of backlash. The Jar Jar Binks character was relentlessly mocked, and remains the most loathed character of the franchise.

And yet: “Phantom” was re-released to theaters this weekend for its 25th anniversary and finished in second place. “Phantom” beat everything including last week’s number 1, the fading “Challengers.”

Maybe Jar Jar Binks deserves an apology.

The number 1 movie this weekend is “The Fall Guy,” which had a surge on Saturday night after a middling opening. Total was $28.5 million, which is three or four million higher than estimated. The Saturday increase by $3 million more than anticipated drove the weekend. The estimate for today is back to normal around $7 million.

“Challengers,” meanwhile, hasn’t really caught on despite having a huge PR push. Also not finding a sweet spot is “Civil War” — and this is despite warnings of a real civil war.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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